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What prevents people from entering treatment

What prevents people from entering treatment?

A study has been created to investigate why alcohol treatment centres are not being utilised by those that really need them. Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health have evidenced that those suffering from alcohol dependency are often reluctant to seek help. They have reported that those diagnosed with alcohol problems are up to 60% less inclined to accept treatment if they thought that a stigma would follow their dependency becoming public knowledge.

Those who participated in the study were obtained from National Epidemiologic Survey of Alcohol and Related Conditions. Alcohol related problems were viewed differently amongst varying groups of people. For some, it was less of an issue than others. Men felt more stigmatised compared with women. Older people felt more stigmatised than younger people and Hispanics and non-black Hispanic people felt more stigma than white people.

The reason as to why certain groups of people feel more stigmatised than others is debatable. However, those on a lower income, previously married or with poor education were the most affected.

Therefore, what the US have established is that there is a greater need for alcohol services to be improved across the spectrum. Those who are less affluent in society are less likely to get help for the alcohol dependency due to the fear of being stigmatised. By agreeing to utilise the services available for alcohol dependency, suggests that a person is then associated with that group and the associated problems that follow.

In the UK, those on lower incomes will be relying primarily on the NHS to offer these services. Therefore, this should be the sector that is provided with the most support in improving the services offered. Further guidance and training should also be implemented amongst all sectors to promote positive attitudes and behaviours to heighten uptake of services.

Science Daily: Stigma deters those with alcohol disorders from seeking treatment, study finds. Accessed on 22.06.11. Web address:

Published by PCUG Addiction Treatment on 04/08/2020.

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